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Robert Barabe, 65

Robert Antoine Barabe, age 65, of Hudson, Wis., died on Thursday, July 25, at his home.

Bob was born on March 24, 1948, in Ashland, Wis., and grew up in Mellen, Wis., where he attended school and graduated with the class of 1966.

He attended college in Ashland and at the University of Oshkosh where he got degrees in elementary education. He taught at Port Washington, Wis., for 2 years before completing his master's degree in guidance counseling. He went on to be an elementary guidance counselor at Sunset Elementary School in Whitehall, Wis. (9 years) and E.P. Rock Elementary School in Hudson (26 years). His greatest passion was working with children in need and providing them with the support and friendship they might need during a difficult time. He was a successful volleyball coach at both Whitehall High School and Hudson High School, his best stretch of teams being his Whitehall teams going a combined 32-5 during the 1982-1984 seasons.

Bob loved bike racing and spent almost every summer weekend racing in the tri-state area for the Big Ring Flyers Cycle Team. His last weekend alive and his last race were held in Mellen, the race he created in 1988 while visiting his brother over Christmas. Bob made sure all his biker friends came to Mellen each year to keep the race alive and keep the Mellen Penokee Moutain Range Bike Classic in a net profit. Bob's other hobbies included collecting and listening to classic rock music, reading books, working on crossword puzzles, going to movies, visiting with friends, going on walks with his wife, and fishing with his son Rob.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kathy Turonie Barabe; son Robert "Rob" D. Barabe; sister Cher Vought; brother Joe Barabe; niece Alana Barabe Anderson; nephew John Paul Barabe; niece Olivia Barabe Louis; niece Molly Vought Nordrum; nephew Larry Hiltonen; nephew Thomas Vought; and nephew Lee Vought.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Florence Barabe, and a brother, John Paul, who died in 1975.

A Memorial Gathering of Friends and Family to celebrate Robert's life will take place from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson,, 715-386-3725.

Bob died in his sleep, but he will always be riding his bike awake on his route to the finish line.

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